MV Agusta F4 and F4 RR
Noble, expensive, elegant
The elegance of the MV Agusta F4 has always magically captivated viewers. But beauty is fleeting. And because inner values count more and more, the creators rejuvenated their top model in many details.
With certain stimulus words, the head cinema always produces the same images. The author inevitably thinks of one M.V Agusta F4 to the unique red-silver paint, to high-quality workmanship and elegant design. If the film continues, there are also impressions like a rough, beastly engine, stubborn handling and an elongated, uncomfortable sitting position. Pictures of the past?
The chances for that are not bad. After all, the Italians went to great lengths to modernize the F4. Modern ride-by-wire now transmits the commands from the throttle hand to the central control unit. With this technology, the MV also offers the different driving modes "Rain", "Normal" and "Sport". Depending on the setting, the power delivery, torque curve, throttle response, engine brake and speed limit differ. The fourth mode, "Custom", allows individual parameters of the other modes to be combined as required. For example, the pilot can combine the higher engine braking torque from normal mode with the more direct throttle response from sport mode.
The MV Agusta F4 on the Valencia track.
Also on board: eight-way adjustable traction control, lean angle and acceleration sensor, anti-wheelie control and automatic gearshift. The highlight: the Quickshifter works both when upshifting and downshifting – so far unique on series bikes! The MV driver quickly gets used to neither pulling the clutch nor double-declutching when shifting into lower gears. The latter is done automatically by the F4: simply close the gas, push in the gear, wig, done! Thanks to this fabulous feature, the pilot can concentrate perfectly on a late braking point and the ideal line when turning.
But that requires reliable work of the technology. And unfortunately there is still something wrong with that. Because of four machines tested, only two worked without any problems, with the other bikes the semi-automatic downshift was only successful sometimes or not at all. Ride-by-wire also raises questions. The engine occasionally pushes a little further despite the fully closed throttle grip. In addition, it is not always possible to gently apply the gas at the exit of the curve, as the load sometimes jerks off and sometimes reacts to gas commands with a slight delay. And the traction control could regulate a little more finely, at least in the early stages (six to eight). It goes with the fact that the Italians did not even activate the wheelie control for the presentation. As could be heard, she is still working a little too roughly. Apparently MV is having a lot of trouble to bring the many parameters of the complex electronics under one roof and to offer them in a predictable way.
Modified collector with redesigned exhaust bags: MV’s silencer, 2013 model.
On the other hand, there are more gratifying things to report about the engine. Because the technicians implanted the short-stroke power unit “Corsacorte” from the noble variant “RR” in the conventional “R” and in the basic model F4, which is available for the first time. MV now has three versions of the superbike in its range: F4, F4 R, F4 RR. The superbike has never lacked power, its engine has always been one of the most powerful on the planet. Of course, this also applies to the Corsacorte propellant. Lively 195 ponies fire up the F4 and, with the happy burning, always create this wonderful mix of incredulous amazement and a broad grin – Forza, MV!
Although it has only been in use since the end of 2011, the MV team has comprehensively modified the drive for this year: specially coated pistons for greater strength, less friction in the piston rings, throttle valves that have grown by one millimeter to 50 mm , modified intake ducts, revised variable intake funnels, modified oil circuit, higher Cooler efficiency. Unfortunately, this did not change the running culture. As usual, the drive runs very rough and vibrates markedly. Even the unchanged hooked gearbox still requires a courageous gearshift foot.
The braking system and the frame of the MV Agusta F4.
MV clearly made the greatest progress with the chassis. Despite the unchanged geometry, the F4 now sticks surprisingly easily into the corners without sacrificing a bit of its legendary cornering stability. The new, more flexible main frame, the lighter wheels with a lower mass moment of inertia and the newly tuned spring elements turn the formerly stubborn diva into an almost light-footed curve ballerina. The significantly more compact seating position is also ideal for sharpening corners. On the other hand, we don’t like the slight unrest in the front section, which gets into slight horizontal oscillations when braking extremely hard, for example after the start / finish straight in Valencia. A first sign of fork rattle? Hopefully not! In future tests, we will monitor this feature very closely.
The precision and feedback with which the Italian arrows around the radii are overwhelming. In these disciplines she is actually looking for an equal. However, the MV turns out to be a real tire eater. After no more than three turns of 20 minutes each, the rear tire is so worked up that a change is pending. We cannot say with absolute certainty whether it is the bike itself, the new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP in SC2 mix and 200 format, the cool temperatures (air: around ten degrees) or the brand new asphalt on the southern Spanish piste. What is clear, however, is that we will also keep a close eye on this peculiarity.
The basic version of the MV Agusta F4 rolls out to dealers in plain white and in red / silver.
In contrast, the brakes are nothing but sunshine. They bite like hell, are easy to dose, very transparent and extremely stable. Unfortunately, the F4 does not offer ABS, but the system is planned for the near future. And what does the head cinema do? The fascination of MV remains. And gradually the images of some previous shortcomings such as the stubborn handling or the outdated seating position are blurring. But new ones creep in. Hopefully only for a short time!
The F4 still looks immature. In particular, MV urgently needs to take care of the complex new electronics. Apart from that, the revised superbike is a lightning-fast race car after a certain period of getting used to it. Fortunately now also a very handy one. If the Italians eliminate the weaknesses mentioned and also develop an ABS, they will be right at the front.
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Noble and expensive: F4 RR
Tea "RR" is even finer equipped.
Before we go into the noble variant F4 RR, here are the differences between the basic machine F4 and the somewhat more upscale version F4 R: In the "R", the TTX 36 from Ohlins works instead of the Sachs shock absorber. In addition, it rolls on filigree, very attractive forged wheels instead of cast wheels. In addition, the nobler variant proudly bears the abbreviation “R” on the side panel. The price between it and the basic F4 is 2300 euros (19,290 to 16,990 euros, plus additional costs).
Even more finely equipped, the "RR" rolls into the starting line. It also wears the noble forged wheels and its abbreviation is emblazoned on the side panel. Brembo M50 calipers, the manufacturer’s latest monoblock generation, bite into the brake discs of the double-R. The radial brake pump comes from the same company. The other two models anchor with the slightly older M4 saddles and a Nissin brake pump. On the chassis side, the electronic Ohlins chassis stands out on the RR. Instead of using tools, the damping can be adjusted using a switch unit on the handlebar. As a basic setup, the system uses preset values for the different driving modes "Rain", "Normal" and "Sport". However, the F4 RR does not have a semi-active suspension. It offers two positions for the steering head angle and the pivot point of the swing arm. As standard, this is three millimeters higher than the F4 and F4 R..
Only available with the double R: Brembo M50 calipers and complete electronic Ohlins chassis.
The noble variant also stands out on the engine side. For the time being, only individual valve springs instead of two work in the RR drive. In addition, the pistons only move up and down on their lightweight titanium connecting rods. This enabled MV to reduce the weight of the crankshaft by two percent and its moment of inertia by as much as five percent. This package allows engine speeds to increase by 300 rpm to 14,000 rpm, which gives the RR 201 hp and thus six additional ponies. Although the basic F4 seems anything but tired at higher revs, the rider feels the extra punch of the RR very clearly. However, when the shower is fully open, she sometimes moves nervously with the handlebars, which somewhat diminishes confidence in the driving stability. It is very likely that this peculiarity can be remedied with a more tightly adjusted steering damper.
Amazingly, the RR driver does not feel any significant differences in driving behavior compared to the already very good basic variant. At least not on the perfectly flat slopes of Valencia. A separate comparison test has to show whether the additional price of the double R of 7,300 euros (24,290 euros) results in better performance and lower lap times.
Tea noble variant F4 RR on the slopes.
HP data MV Agusta F4 (F4 RR)
Four-cylinder in-line engine, 4 valves / cylinder, 143.5 kW (195 PS) at 13400 rpm *, [148 kW – 201 PS at 13,600 rpm] *, 111 Nm at 9600 rpm *, 998 cm3, bore / Stroke: 79.0 / 50.9 mm, compression: 13.4: 1, ignition / injection system, 50 mm throttle valves, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath anti-hopping clutch, six-speed gearbox, chain
Steel tubular space frame, steering head angle: 66.5 degrees, caster: 100 mm, wheelbase: 1430 mm, inner fork tube Ø: 50 mm [43 mm], spring travel from / h .: 120/120 mm
Wheels and brakes
Light alloy cast wheels [light alloy forged wheels], 3.50 x 17 / 6.00 x 17, front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 200/55 ZR 17, 320 mm double disc brake with four-piston fixed calipers at the front , 210 mm single disc with four-piston fixed caliper at the rear
191 kg * [190 kg *] Tank capacity: 17 liters of super
16990 Euro [24 290 Euro] (plus ancillary costs) *
* Manufacturer information
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